A Tough Day For A Book Signing

Thanks For The Coffees Paul!

Tomorrow’s visit to WHSmith Gateshead Metro Centre will be the third of my four stop North Of England Tour and at the half-way stage it’s been a case of so far so good.

Last week’s trip to Durham proved to be another good day out in the North East with 45 book sales and a huge thanks to Paul, whom I’m pictured with right, and all his staff for my cups of coffee, bottles of water and all your kind help, it was really appreciated.

Again the people of the North East proved to be really friendly, even if one nattily dressed silver haired lady met my enquiry if she liked crime fiction with a disdainful no.

When I asked if she preferred Mills & Boon, I was met with a rant that was surely the equal of anything that ever came out of Sir Alex Ferguson’s famous hair dryer!

Suffice to say it would appear that some Cambridge Graduates take themselves very seriously indeed!!

Thankfully though my books, banter and baloney were otherwise well received and as you can see from the pic below, Durham is just a wonderful historic place to visit.Durham 2

And I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all the people who have contacted me via my website to say they have enjoyed the books they have purchased from me at the signings mentioned.

But although I’m looking forward to my trip to the Metro Centre, tomorrow’s signing will be a toughie and that is because a few hundred miles further South the Scottish Rugby team will be desperately trying to end 34 years of pain and disappointment at Twickenham!

As a former Glasgow Evening Times Rugby correspondent I know all of the ‘Glasgow Boys’ in the Scottish team well and have a good friend ‘@truscot007’ who supplies most of them with a cutting edge sports sock or Trusox to be precise.

It has been a pleasure to watch Scotland in the RBS Six Nations this season…something no honest self-respecting rugby Scot has been able to say for a few years up until  Vern Cotter’s second season at the helm.

I’m sure my friends at Bridge Of Allan Squash club will be cheering the boys in dark blue on from the bar while the black stuff flows and Uncle Steve’s half-time pies are gorged!

My big problem is going to be how to get back to my house in Stirling without knowing the result!

Anyway if you are in the Metro Centre tomorrow between 11am and 3ish pm and like your crime fiction full of betrayal, heartbreak and revenge please pop in…even if you don’t fancy one of my books I promise not to accuse you of being a Mills & Boon fan!!!




Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

50 Not Out In Newcastle                                                                Gently Does It

TOMORROW will mark the second outing on my WH Smith North of England tour with a visit to Durham, which I am really looking forward to.

Thankfully stage one of the four date tour went really well with 52 books sold at Newcastle WH Smith, where I met a lot of really nice friendly people and discovered that there is a big audience for crime fiction in the heart of Geordie land.

The picture to the right shows me thanking the lovely Lucy for becoming my 50th book sale at Newcastle a fortnight back!

Back in the early noughties I used to visit Durham quite regularly and it is a lovely City with a magnificent Cathedral that dates back to 1093.

It is also where one of my favourite TV Cops, Inspector George Gently has his adventures and the frustrating thing about tomorrow and book signings in general, is that you see very little of the place you are visiting other than the inside of the book shop.

I am a big Martin Shaw fan, having been raised on ‘The Professionals’, the superb seventies theme tune of which supplies the ring tone to my mobile!!

I also went to see the great man starring in ‘A Man for all Seasons’ at the Theatre Royal Glasgow a few years back but it as George Gently, ‘the coppers copper’, that I revere him most….although to be fair Mr Shaw wasn’t bad in Judge John Deed either!!!

But of one thing there is no doubt, I will find time to manufacture a pint in one of the city centre’s atmospheric hostelries and endeavour to soak up the ‘atmos’ and take in the local characters and put them in my back pocket for future writing reference, before I get the train back to old Stirling town.

As any of you who read my blogs will know, wherever I go I am always looking for characters and locations from my travels that can be used for my novels and I am pleased to say that my recent trip to Kingston Upon Thames, when I stayed in Wimbledon for a weekend, has just yielded significant lineage for the current MS I am working on entitled ‘Fear’, which is about disgraced ex-SAS trooper Ludovic Fear.

So the target for tomorrow’s trip to Durham is both to sell a few books and also make the most of the unique sights and sounds of this fine old English city, which may one day soon find its way into one of my forthcoming novels.

No pressure then!



Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment